Pilot Flying J Dealing With Fraud Allegations
Pilot Flying J CEO Jimmy Haslam III said Monday (April 22) the truck-stop giant has put some of its sales team on administrative leave and is reviewing all contracts with trucking companies amid allegations its employees defrauded customers on diesel-fuel rebates.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Pilot, a company well known to the RVing community, also will scrap manually processed contracts by the end of June and hire a chief compliance officer and outside special investigator in the coming weeks to address allegations of wrongdoing, Haslam said in a statement delivered to reporters at company headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. The allegations were raised by a current employee and a former employee, among others, according to the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI).
The moves follow a raid of Pilot’s offices last week by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service as part of an ongoing federal criminal investigation. A 120-page affidavit unsealed in federal court last Thursday alleges employees withheld discounts from customers to boost company profits and their own sales commissions. No one has been arrested.
Haslam reiterated Monday that Pilot believes the federal investigation is focused on “a narrow slice” of the business in which diesel-fuel rebates are manually calculated and paid to “a relatively small number” of the company’s 3,300 trucking-company customers.
But he said he is “embarrassed” by allegations of wrongdoing at the privately held truck-stop chain. The chain is North America’s largest, with more than 500 locations. “I more than anyone understand the damage done to our reputation,” Haslam told reporters. He declined to take questions, citing the federal investigation.
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